Delta Air Lines Inc. said U.S. vacation travel has fully recovered as the airline reported its first quarterly profit since the Covid-19 pandemic crushed the industry last year.
Delta on Wednesday reported a second-quarter profit of $652 million, breaking a five-quarter streak of losses, boosted by rising travel demand and a fresh round of government aid to cover workers’ salaries. Delta is the first major airline to report financial results for the quarter, with other carriers slated to follow in the coming weeks.
Still, full recovery for airlines is a long way off. Delta’s profits were 55% below the $1.4 billion it generated in the second quarter of 2019, as corporate and international travel remained weak. And while planes and airports are more packed than they were last year, Delta isn’t flying a full schedule and its operating revenue during the quarter was half of 2019 levels.
Without $1.5 billion in proceeds from government grants and other one-time items, Delta incurred a $678 million loss in its latest quarter.
Delta shares rose less than 1% to $41.65 in pre-market trading.